The newest model of space-reliable ergometers from Danish Aerospace Company A/S has been successfully installed and entered operational use on the International Space Station (ISS).
Danish Aerospace Company’s FERGO (Flight Ergometer) has officially replaced the company’s older model CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization) aboard the ISS. With CEVIS retired after more than 20 years of providing quality exercise for astronauts on the ISS, it is time for the newest model to shine. NASA and astronauts often refer to FERGO as “Teal CEVIS” – it seems it is not easy to let go of the impressions of a well-known predecessor.
Exercise and Experiments
Exercise equipment is considered crucial equipment on the ISS, as it helps the astronauts maintain normal muscle, bone, and cardiovascular function in the microgravity environment. But pedaling aboard the space station is not the most visually stimulating exercise. This is why one of the experiments of Danish ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen’s Huginn Mission will be to evaluate the effects of using the FERGO in combination with a virtual reality headset, the HTC VIVE Focus 3 space, qualified for use in space by Danish Aerospace Company (DAC). The experiment, which Andreas Mogensen will conduct for DAC, will hopefully make exercising in space more inspiring and motivating by showing the astronauts scenic cycling routes in the VR headset.
Function and Feedback
From October 24 to November 5, the FERGO had been used for a little over 10 hours of exercise.
On November 7, the first periodic fitness evaluation, called MaxCEVIS, was completed.
On November 7, FERGO had been used in 30 scheduled exercise sessions.
The crew aboard ISS reports that FERGO has the same stability as its predecessor and that it “feels very familiar, but the software is a huge improvement, especially since it gives you the freedom to change power and cadence during exercise.”
The old CEVIS models were in use for a combined number of 5.000 hours of exercise prior to their replacement by FERGO.
Two Up, Two Down
The upcoming 29th SpaceX commercial resupply services (CRS) mission for NASA carries various scientific experiments and equipment to the ISS, one of which is a second FERGO, meaning that there will soon be two new Danish-produced ergometers in space. The two old CEVIS models will be sent down to Earth for proper disposal in the same capsule from SpaceX 29. The launch is scheduled for Thursday, November 9.
Everyone at Danish Aerospace Company is thrilled that the new ergometer has finally arrived at its new home in space.
“There is no greater feeling than seeing the work of so many years, and so many of our talented people, bear fruit. My teams and I are thrilled to finally see the FERGO in use aboard the ISS,” says Thomas A. E. Andersen, CEO of Danish Aerospace Company.
“Everything has been running smoothly with the FERGO since its installation, and the feedback from the crew has been positive. FERGO has been officially approved for regular exercise aboard the ISS.”
Thomas A.E. Andersen further comments that “our work does not end with the installation of a piece of equipment. We do continuous support to analyze, collect data, and check all functions. Furthermore, in this case, we look forward to having FERGO used in the virtual reality experiment with Andreas.”
“All in all, we are very happy that FERGO is now in use, and we hope to see its pedals still turning for many, many years to come."
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Thomas A. E. Andersen, CEO, Danish Aerospace Company A/S